Be informed and get loud America on America Out Loud Talk Radio. Truth, inspiration, and hope... American Exceptionalism lives in the hearts and minds of great patriots.

October 25, 2021

October 25, 2021

Your Source for Free Speech,
Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

Is Capitalism Bad For The Environment?

by | Aug 6, 2019 |

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

For decades now, Green Parties in Scandinavia and Western Europe have argued that, although capitalism lifts people out of poverty, it should be replaced with socialism, which they claim is more likely to protect the environment.

Convincing evidence that this is a huge mistake is provided by Dr. Calvin Beisner, Founder and National Spokesman of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, in his book Is Capitalism Bad For The Environment? He gives irrefutable examples:

  • When East Germany was unified with the West, the true impact of its socialist/communist form of government was revealed to outsiders for the first time. Its drinking waters were polluted beyond anything Western nations had experienced, its lakes were dead, and its forests were damaged.
  • China’s Three Gorges Dam, on the Yangtze River, is the most destructive engineering project ever built—and it was built under socialist/communist rule. It pollutes everything in its path, submerging 140 towns, 1350 villages, and hundreds of factories. It has displaced 1.2 million people in its 420-mile wake, while releasing vast amounts of toxic waste into its reservoir as well as downstream.
  • 40% of China’s rivers are polluted, 55% of the groundwater supplying 200 cities is polluted beyond safe levels.
  • China’s severe air pollution blocks enough sunlight to reduce photosynthesis and thereby reduce crop yields. It is estimated that in 2010 there were a total of 8,000 premature deaths from air pollution in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xian.
  • Deforestation in China has led to the creation of 950 square miles of desert each year.

These socialist environmental calamities are partly a result of a lack of property rights, where no one takes responsibility for the state of the environment. It is also due to the fact that socialism does not create enough wealth to afford the costs of making protection of the environment a high priority. In Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels (CCR-II-Fossil Fuels), a 780-page report issued last year by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), it is shown “how prosperity makes environmental protection a higher public goal and provides the resources needed to achieve it.” CCR-II-Fossil Fuels continues:

“Once basic demands for food, clothing, and shelter are met, people demand cleaner air, cleaner streams, more outdoor recreation, and the protection of wild lands. With higher incomes, citizens place higher priorities on environmental objectives.”

CCR-II-Fossil Fuels cite researchers Grossman and Krueger (1995) who:

“conducted an extensive literature review of air quality over time and around the world and found ambient air quality tended to deteriorate until average per-capita income reached about $6,000 to $8,000 per year (in 1985 dollars) and then began to sharply improve. Later research confirmed similar relationships for a wide range of countries and air quality, water quality, and other measures of environmental protection.”

CCR-II-Fossil Fuels describes what economists call Environmental Kuznets Curves (EKCs). EKCs show how environmental degradation rises with national per-capita income (although the benefits of industrialization to health and life nonetheless lead to declining rates of disease and premature deaths (i.e., to rising life expectancy)) until a certain critical point is reached, after which the environment starts to improve. 

Source: Ho, M. and Wang, Z. 2015. Green growth for China? Resources. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.

Before the creation of EKCs, many well-informed people thought that wealthier countries damaged their environment more than poorer nations. The only way out of this dilemma was to de-industrialize and reduce incomes, they thought. But we know now that the exact opposite is true. While factors such as the strength of democratic institutions, levels of educational achievement, and income equality play a role, environmental protection is closely correlated with prosperity.

In Colin Grabow’s article “If You Think Communism Is Bad for People, Check Out What It Did to the Environment,” he explains another problem with extreme leftist governments: “communism invariably means authoritarianism … with little tolerance for dissent or concerns about hazardous waste in the worker’s paradise. To voice an opinion that perhaps all is not quite well, or that the air smelled funny, was to invite suspicions of being a saboteur…or harboring bourgeois tendencies.”

Charges against capitalism have largely stemmed from Rachel Carson’s horribly flawed book Silent Spring, published in 1962. About the same time, James Gusave Speth, co-founder of the Natural Resource Defense Council, made five charges against capitalism in a number of his publications:

1- capitalism is indifferent to nature

2- capitalism is unsustainable because it promotes consumerism

3- capitalism leads to resource depletion and ecosystem damage

4- capitalism forces others to bear protection costs while industry profits

5- capitalism’s short-term goals blind it to long term harm

The short answer to each of these charges from Speth, apparently an avowed socialist, is a resounding WRONG.

All five of Speth’s claims indicate no knowledge of economics. Capitalism is a system whose entire purpose is to benefit all citizens’ standard of living in a free market with property rights at its core. Capitalism’s historical track record shows that it’s better than any other economic system so far devised at raising people out of poverty and at making efficient use of resources. No other system better protects or improves our natural environment. CCR-II-Fossil Fuels demonstrates that the prosperity made possible by free markets creates the circumstances needed to better protect the environment. The report concludes:

“Without markets, a poorer and hungrier world would have little regard for the environment or the interests of future generations, being too busy meeting the more immediate needs of finding food and shelter.”

President Donald Trump demonstrated in his April 22, 2019 Earth Day message that he understands all this very well. He said:

“Environmental protection and economic prosperity go hand in hand. A strong market economy is essential to protecting our critical natural resources and fostering a legacy of conservation.”

Bravo to President Trump for having the courage to say what is real: prosperity and free markets are what really matter for environmental protection.

Avatar

Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dave James
Dave James
2 years ago

Dr. Jay Lehr and Mr. Tom Harris argument that socialism is bad for the environment and capitalism is good reflects their political worldview rather than the science.
Dr. Lehr admitted it was government regulations in the 1970’s and 1980’s that cleaned-up our environment. He wrote “environmental improvement and protection program during the ensuing two decades that has become the most successful grass roots, self-improvement program in our nations history.” https://www.cfact.org/2019/05/20/environmental-myths/ Scandinavia and Western Europe are more socialistic than America and have stronger environmental laws.
Developing nations have little to no environmental regulations. Mr. Harris and Dr. Lehr are advocates for deregulation. https://americaoutloud.com/trump-right-to-try-to-end-the-war-on-coal/ Their organization the Heartland Institute has been a predominate cheerleader for undoing environmental regulations. https://www.heartland.org/publications-resources/publications/research–commentary-heartland-brief-argues-that-epas-endangerment-finding-should-be-repealed

trackback
Energy & Environmental Newsletter: August 12, 2019 - Master Resource
2 years ago

[…] Let’s Be Like Norway Dr. Jordan Peterson — The Meaning and Reality of Individual Sovereignty Is Capitalism Bad For The Environment? How and why the media get the science wrong time and again New President of Heartland selected […]

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is for educational, general information, and entertainment purposes only and is never intended to constitute medical or legal advice or to replace the personalized care of a primary care practitioner or legal expert.

While we endeavor to keep this information up to date and correct, the information provided by America Out Loud, its website(s), and any properties (including its radio shows and podcasts) makes no representations, or warranties of any kind, expressed, or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to its website(s) or the information, products, services or related graphics and images contained on the website(s) for any purpose.

The opinions expressed on the website(s), and the opinions expressed on the radio shows and podcasts, are the opinions of the show hosts and do not necessarily represent the opinions, beliefs, or policies of anyone or any entity we may endorse. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

At no time, nor in any event, will we be liable for any loss, or damage, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss of data or profits arising out of, in an association of, or connection with the use of this website.

Through this website, users can link to other websites that may be listed. Those websites are not under the control of America Out Loud or its brands. We have no control over the nature, content, or availability of those sites. America Out Loud has no control over what the sites do with the information they collect. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation, nor does it endorse the views expressed with or by them.

Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, America Out Loud takes no responsibility for, nor are we, and will not be liable for being temporarily unavailable due to technical difficulties beyond our control. America Out Loud does not sell, trade, nor market email addresses or other personal data.

Use the code ‘OUTLOUD’ and receive your 20% discount on your first order.

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

As a crisis develops, Democrats will use the propaganda resources of the mass media to promote their victimization and blame “White Privilege” as the reason for the supposed inefficiencies and injustices that keep them always subservient to their welfare status. CRT is another attack on a functioning America. Democrats offer false hope to the underclass…

Repeated US Intelligence Failures Spell Disaster

Repeated US Intelligence Failures Spell Disaster

At the moment, a ‘woke’ American military is not even capable of protecting the US borders let alone confronting a determined enemy. The USA is a naked target at the moment, and it will be innocent civilians who will pay the ultimate price for the gross betrayal by all its leaders to protect them from evil, starting with Joe Biden, the Traitor in Chief…

Let’s Identify and Quash the Apostles of Slavery and Injustice for All

Let’s Identify and Quash the Apostles of Slavery and Injustice for All

They supplant the virtuous Pledge of Allegiance that demands “liberty and justice for all.” Shall we helplessly sit back and allow these missionaries of evil to have their way? Some say yes. Others aren’t so sure. But a growing number of people are deciding they’ve had enough. For many months now, the plain truth has been evident: America is under attack!

A Woke Military Threatens US Readiness

A Woke Military Threatens US Readiness

Under woke military leadership, the US has fallen so far behind China and Russia that our best experts have no idea how the Chinese could accomplish this nuclear missile flight and strike. Milley and Austin and the Marxist Democrats (both the puppets such as Biden and the puppet masters such as Soros organizations) already have blood on their hands from Afghanistan.  

True Parent Patriots Act Against Racist, Anti-America Agenda

True Parent Patriots Act Against Racist, Anti-America Agenda

Parents have responsibly refused to stand idly by as arrogant academic ideologues teach their kids to judge one another by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character; malign their country as systemically and irredeemably evil rather than celebrate America’s virtues; and witness their tax money wasted on failed schools, failed curricula, and failed outcomes…

Breaking the Grip of Medical Tyranny

Breaking the Grip of Medical Tyranny

Patients and family members should demand “shared decision making” and enforce a patient bill of rights that ensures all parties agree on the treatment course. America has been rocked by the court cases that families have brought to bare getting court orders to force doctors and hospitals to administer proper care…

The Soviet State, American Style!

The Soviet State, American Style!

With mandates’ success, political orders for social control will continue to grow. We are experiencing tyranny by dictatorship. Biden’s administration is a crime syndicate specializing in bribery and extortion. Demanding the entire population be injected by unproven but already demonstrably dangerous vaccines, is revealing to us the very essence of the Soviet state, American style. If they get away with it, the mandated vaccinations will be just the beginning…

The Truth Behind the Soviet-Era Supply Chain Crisis

The Truth Behind the Soviet-Era Supply Chain Crisis

The latest bottleneck in the supply chain is the hundreds of container ships waiting to be unloaded in West Coast ports like Los Angeles and San Diego. The mainstream media tell us the cause is a shortage of truck drivers. Now we find out that there ARE enough drivers (for the Ports, at least). The real cause is the State of California imposing an…

The Covid Gene Therapy Shot and Its Approval or Not

The Covid Gene Therapy Shot and Its Approval or Not

As if the stench wasn’t enough, until this fake Pfizer approval, pushed through with the complicity of a fake president, elected by fake votes, and pushed by the fake media, until today the fastest approval for a vaccine ever took five years – which was for Ebola, that kills ~50% of its victims. By contrast, we have around just six months of safety data for the Covid shot until approval, and the survival rate is 99.997 if you are under 21 and not far below that even up to age 70…

America’s Decline is a Choice

America’s Decline is a Choice

Many in America think that America needs to be brought down to size. Barack Obama once said, “My legacy will be an America brought down to the level of the rest of the world,” and though Obama was not able to realize this ambition, the Biden Administration is moving full speed ahead with plans to weaken the United States militarily and economically, destroying the wealth of the American people in the process…

Header

Your Source for Free Speech, Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

Here we take on the challenges of our generation so that we can preserve future generations.

Help Support Our Mission

iHeartRadio

The APPS are free; the mission is priceless!

Free APP

Podcast Networks

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify
Pandora
Tunein
iHeart
Stitcher

Subscribe and Listen on Your Favorite APP

Our Columnists and Show Hosts

COVID Solution Summit

Apple Podcasts

Evacuating Americans & fully-vetted Afghan's at Risk - Help Us!

Apple Podcasts

Empowering and mentoring conservative trailblazers from Generation Z to win!

Apple Podcasts

Turning Point Action is Recruiting Precinct Chairs - Become a Grassroots Warrior Today!

Apple Podcasts

URGENT - KEEP NINE
Please join us to protect the Supreme Court:
Sign the Petition!

Apple Podcasts

The LATINO USA EXIT from the Democrat Party, click for details...

Apple Podcasts

Fighting corporate censorship and ensuring voter integrity...

Apple Podcasts

Support wounded and fallen police officers. The Wounded Blue.

Wounded Blue
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap